“Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast, Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast” this is a famous Persian couplet by Amir Khusro.
In simple words this explains how beautiful Kashmir is and so is their cuisine. Kashmiri Cuisine is one of the most cherished cuisines in India. The most important ingredient of Kashmiri cuisine is Meat. It is said that they use more than 30 varieties. This cuisine uses ingredients available in Kashmir like haq, gucchi, saffron, kashmiri chilli powder, fennel seeds powder that gives the dishes an exotic aroma and the long simmering over low flame enhances the flavors of the dishes.
Though we all know that Kashmiri food is all about meat and is a non-vegetarian affair; but the most important point is that this cuisine also has some excellent vegetarian food.
Last week we had a discussion on vegetarian food on our bloggers’ group on facebook and I actually realized that being a hard-core non-vegetarian I sometimes miss vegetarian food.
I received an invitation from The Grand New Delhi to review and enjoy their ongoing Kashmiri food festival. I decided that I will also focus on vegetarian dishes which I usually tend to write/relish at the minimal.
They have set menu and A-La-Carte and the festival is on till 30th of this month. Here is my pick of the dishes from the festival.
Chok Wangun( Khatte Baingun(eggplants) – this was the star dish of the festival. Eggplant cooked in Kashmiri ingredients and tamarind paste which gives it tangy flavour. It was cooked with the skin and I just loved it. You shouldn’t miss it
Kashmiri Aloo Dum – The use of Kashmiri chilli makes this dish very special. Sunil Tikkoo said that if you use small sized potato, the dish becomes all the more delicious. Slow cooking is the key to make a perfect dum aloo. You need golf size potatoes for this dish.
Haakh saag – Kashmiri saag which has the flavour of mustard is commonly used at Kashmiri homes. It’s one of the commonly used dishes in any function or festival.
Mutton Yakhni – one of the most delicious dishes of Kashmiri cuisine. No celebration is complete without this dish. This delicacy is mutton simmered in yogurt with ginger powder and other spices. This is the simplest, yet a most flavorful mutton preparation.
Tabak Maaz – this too is one of the most important dishes of wazwan. Double cooked lamb ribs that gets simmered in yogurt till tender and then fried. This is mostly served as a starter.
The festival is on till 30th January and shouldn’t be missed. This food festival is organized in association with SAAL and Mr. Sunil Tickoo.
If you would love to read more on Kashmiri cuisine – Here is a link that I enjoyed and sharing the pleasure of what I read: